Just sharing and enjoying life.
Culturally I feel that we have a tendency to prepare meals around the meat we intend to serve. Take a look at fast food as an excellent example: fried chicken, cheeseburgers, meatball subs. It's really all about a lump of animal; everything else is an extra, a side, or a garnish. Whether by conditioning or a natural, evolutionary predisposition to favour meat as a food source, I think this is probably a difficult thing to change. For meat to become supplementary instead of central we probably have to make some subtle but meaningful changes to the way we think about our food.
via Meat — The Northwind
I never understood the American desire to eat volumous amounts of meat. I think this is mostly a cultural thing. I grew up on several small Caribbean islands. Grazing land is scarce; islands are small. We eat mostly fish and chicken. More fish than chicken. The meat was always considered a side. Not the main dish. I think it's that way in most cultures.
My wife is vegetarian. A real vegetarian, not the bullshit that some call themselves while eating fish and chicken. If you are eating something that has a nervous system you are NOT a vegetarian.
So I guess the combination of her eating habits and my upbringing leads us to put less focus on meat and more on the vegetables on the plate.
NOTE: I do like a good steak.
We finally decided to try the Trinidadian Scorpion Peppers. Savory Spice Shop Princeton, NJ donated a small sample for us to try. Bhavana ground a small amount intending to put it into a large pot of callaloo - a vegetarian vegetable soup. I think her recipe is based on one she found on Simply Trini Cooking. Her version of callaloo substitutes collared greens for taro (dasheen) leaves.
Callaloo is widely known throughout the Caribbean and has a distinctively Caribbean origin, created by enslaved Africans using ideas of the indigenous people along with both African (okra) and indigenous (Xanthosoma) plants. African Americans invented a version of the original West African dish known as collard greens. Trinidadians have embraced this dish from their ancestors and over time have added ingredients such as coconut milk to modify its flavor. Callaloo is mostly served as a side dish, for Trinidadians, Bajans, and Grenadians it usually accompanies rice, macaroni pie, and a meat of choice.WikiPedia entry for callaloo
After sampling a bit of the pepper we decided that perhaps a much smaller amount would work best in the soup.